is a blog about design, technology and culture written by Khoi Vinh, and has been more or less continuously published since December 2000 in New York City. Khoi is currently Principal Designer at Adobe, Design Chair at Wildcard and co-founder of Kidpost. Previously, Khoi was co-founder and CEO of Mixel (acquired by Etsy, Inc.), Design Director of The New York Times Online, and co-founder of the design studio Behavior, LLC. He is the author of “Ordering Disorder: Grid Principles for Web Design,” and was named one of Fast Company’s “fifty most influential designers in America.” Khoi lives in Crown Heights, Brooklyn with his wife and three children. Refer to the advertising and sponsorship page for inquiries.+
Last year, I spent a good deal of time talking about how print designers often fail to realize that the shift from analog to digital media also represents a shift from narrative to behavior — a fundamental change in the language and purpose of graphic design. That’s still an important concept, I think.
But after looking at portfolio after portfolio over the past two years while recruiting talent for an employer that still places a high value on narrative, I should shade this argument further: the future of this profession is not predicated simply on a one-way shift from the sensibilities of analog to the sensibilities of digital.
It’s a two-way street. Granted, the majority of the shift is incumbent upon the analog-minded. But there is a tremendous amount of storytelling that needs to be told in digital media, too, and a tremendous amount to be recovered from the craft of art direction, a discipline that is seemingly stranded in the analog world.